Making Sense of the Links Between Sex Differences and Autism: From Biology to Behavior

The male-bias in the prevalence of autism has two major implications for understanding the emergence of autism. First, studies into mechanisms associated with the development of typical sexual differentiation may provide insight into the etiologies and development of autism. Second, identifying similarities and differences between males and females with autism can inform us about shared characteristics and mechanisms central to the emergence of autism, as well as sex-specific and/or sex-linked characteristics, etiological mechanisms, susceptibility and protective factors. This Scientific Panel brings together research from 4 different groups addressing these two inter-linked themes. The first two presentations discuss how sex-differential gene expression and associated regulatory mechanisms are potentially related to the genetic and epigenetic etiologies of autism. The second two presentations compare and contrast girls and boys, women and men with autism, integrating across levels of brain structure, neural activation, cognition and behaviors. The discussant will address the implications from the interaction of both threads of research, as well as future directions elucidating the links between sex differences and autism.
Friday, May 16, 2014: 3:30 PM-5:30 PM
Meeting Room A703 - A704 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
4:20 PM
Multimodal Developmental Neuroimaging of Girls with Autism
K. A. Pelphrey, A. Jack, L. C. Anderson, D. Z. Bolling, R. J. Jou, D. Yang and B. C. Vander Wyk
4:45 PM
Measuring "Camouflage" in Males and Females with Autism: Clinical, Cognitive, and Neuroanatomical Associations
M. C. Lai, M. V. Lombardo, A. N. Ruigrok, J. Suckling, B. Chakrabarti, B. Auyeung, C. Ecker, M. C. Craig, D. G. Murphy, E. Bullmore, M. AIMS Consortium and S. Baron-Cohen